Blacksod Bay Assisted Emigration Sailings

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Category: Letters from the Descendants

Bridget Mulgrew (nee Kelly), Rosturk Co. Mayo to Parsons, Luzerne Co., Pennsylvania, via Quebec, aboard the S.S. Manitoban

by ionaddeirbhile

Bridget Kelly Mulgrew (Mulgrue on the passenger list), daughter of Martin Kelly and Catherine Hammill, was born in Rosturk, Co. Mayo in about 1861. She married Michael Mulgrew of Murrevagh, Co. Mayo, son of Bryan Mulgrew and Honora Grealis, in the Newport Chapel on May 11, 1881. The witnesses were John Gorman from Newport and Mary Joyce from Rosgalliv. While listed on the passenger list as traveling alone, Bridget was accompanied by her parents; Martin and Catherine Kelly (nee Hammill), and her siblings, Anne (18), Michael (16), Philip (13), Patrick (10), Catherine (7), and Martin Jr. (4), her grandmother, Sarah Hammill (60), and her uncle, John Kelly (25).
Bridget , along with her grandmother, Sarah Hammill (Hamilton on the passenger list), and her Uncle John Kelly, waited in Quebec for the arrival of her husband, Michael, her daughter, Kathryn, and sister, Mary Kelly. The rest of her family pushed on to Parsons, Luzerne Co., Pennsylvania. They may have chosen the Luzerne area because Catherine Hammill’s siblings, Patrick Hammond (Bridget Keenan) and Mary Needham (Thomas), immigrated there years earlier, as did a few of the Hammill/Hamil/Hammond cousins. The Hammill cousins are difficult to sort out at this time, as Sarah was born a Hammill and married, Michael Hammill, both are believed to be from in and around Raigh, Co. Mayo, Ireland.
After Michael Mulgrew and the rest of the family arrived in Quebec, they continued on to Parsons, Luzerne Co., Pennsylvania, and purchased a modest home on Welles Ave., It’s believed that they had a total of 11 children, seven survived to adulthood; Kathryn Ring (William), John Mulgrew (Irma Piedfourck), Annie Maloney (Christopher), Thomas Mulgrew, and Fr. Edward Mulgrew, Elynor “Nellie” Mulgrew and Florence Roblee (Clayton). Four of their children passed away in infancy or at a young age, they were; Esther, Maggie, Arthur, and one unknown.
Bridget passed away on August 23, 1898 in Parsons, PA. Michael passed away October 13, 1910
Wilkes-Barre Times, August 24, 1898 Parsons
Mrs. Michael Mulgrew, one of our most excellent ladies, died yesterday morning of heart failure after a painful illness. Mrs. Mulgrew was possessed of many Christian traits of character which endeared her to all. She is survived by her husband and seven children, the oldest a girl aged 16 years, and the youngest a baby 1 year old. Her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Martin Kelly, and three sisters and four brothers are also left to mourn her death. Her funeral will take place Thursday.
The Wilkes-Barre Record from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania • Page 25
October 15, 1910
After a week’s Illness of pneumonia Michael Mulgrew, for thirty years a resident of this place, died at his home on Welles Avenue early yesterday, deceased was 65 years of age. He was well known in this vicinity and in Pittston, Pa.
A large number of friends mourn his demise. He is survived by the following children: Mrs. William Ring, John Mulgrew, Mrs. Christopher Maloney, Thomas, Edward, Nellie and Florence Mulgrew. The funeral will be held Monday (October 17, 1910) afternoon at 3 o’clock wit h Interment in Sacred Heart Cemetery at Plains.
Their Children:
Kathryn “Katie” Mulgrew (1882-1961) married William Ring, son of John Ring and Mary Hurley. They had 9 children, 7 whom survived to adulthood; Mary “Mamie” Perry (John), Jack Ring, Virginia “Irma” Hopkins (Terrence), Thomas (Devona Mast), Edward (Eileen Scheid), James (Marilyn McCarthy), and Patricia Smith (William).
John “Johnny” Mulgrew (1883-1947), played baseball under the name “Johnny Hughes.” He was one of the all time catching greats of the American Association, and played for the Brewers. He was the Catcher for Harry Clark’s Pennant Willing Clubs of 1913 and 1914. He adopted the name “Hughes” so he could play professionally while attending college. He used the name for the remainder of his baseball career, which was his great grandmother’s maiden name on the Mulgrew side of the family, He married, Irma Piedfourck, and had 6 children; June Lango (Roy), Jack Mulgrew, Mary Schneider (Raymond), Robert (Joyce) Mulgrew, James Mulgrew and William “Barney” Mulgrew.
Annie Mulgrew (1886-1926) married Christopher Maloney (1883-1938), son of Michael Maloney and Anna McCauliffe (McAuliffe?). They had 7 children; Martin (Elizabeth), Anna Ruth (James), Christopher (Angela Patla), John (Viola), Edward, Florence Greenblatt (Erwin) and Helen Rogan (Joseph).
Thomas Mulgrew (1889-?), never married, and worked in the coal industry, he eventually retired to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and I lost track of him.
Rev. Edward Mulgrew (1892-1934), was assistant pastor of St. Aloysius’ Catholic Church in Cleveland, Ohio.
Elynor Mulgrew (1894-1964), never married and moved to Cleveland, there she owned a Detective agency, Trucking company, and finally a small Delicatessen, she was also was a secretary, a nurse, Vice President of Smith Messenger Service and a State Representative.
Florence Mulgrew (1896-1934), moved to Milwaukee with her brother, John, she married, Clayton Roblee, son of Melvin Roblee and Josephine “Nancy” Large. They had two children; Theodore (Doris Pritzkow) and Jerome (Emily Poliak).

Edward O’Malley

Many thanks to Edward for kindly sharing his story and photograph of Bridget, with other descendants. This post is also featured as a DISQUS message re: Bridget Mulgrue age 18, SS Manitoban, on our main site. There are also DISQUS messages kindly left by Jack McNulty and John Loughney re: Martin Kelly age 45. SS Manitoban. 


Patrick Sweeney and Family, Attawalla, Bangor Erris

by ionaddeirbhile

On the S.S.Buenos Ayrean My Mother’s (Mai Sweeney Noone) Grandfather Patrick Sweeney and his Eldest son and Youngest daughter Michael Edward & Ann Sweeney are Listed on the above named ship, Which departed from Blacksod To Quebec, Canada.
Michael Edward went on to become a Private in the US Spanish Army got injured in action and died some years later in a home for invalid officers in  Maion Indianna December 1930.

Ann Sweeney continued cross the border to Chicago and lived with her sister Maria Sweeney Furlong in La Salle St. She got married to Lawrence Hancock they had no family. She worked as a sale Lady. she made a return visit to Ireland  in May 1955  and she died in Ohio, August 1965 aged 85 years .
Patrick Sweeney went to Chicago and worked as a Farm Labourer He returned to Ireland for a visit with his son my Grandfather Patrick jnr and both are recorded in 1911 Census in the homestead of Micheal and Bridget Murphy (his sister) of Muhin Bangor Erris.
It’s fantastic for everyone to see the names of their loved one’s and being remembered  especially in a period of extreme hardship and sorrow in Ireland.

Keep up the good work. It is nice to see their names appear and at least it is a mark to symbolise their existence
Thanking you
Yours sincerely
Atty Gaughan

Letters from the Descendants – Barrett / Dixon Families

by ionaddeirbhile

Ionad Deirbhile Heritage Center

Michael Barrett and Anna Dixon Barrett left Blacksod Bay on May 25th, 1883 with 43 families numbering 238 persons bound for Boston aboard the ship Austrian. The Austrian arrived in Boston 7 June 1883 some two weeks later. They travelled with their six children and their inlaws, the Dixons. They then took the train from Boston to Minneapolis.They travelled under the auspices of the free emigration project which was administered by James Hack Tuke, an English Quaker. They came to Minnesota because Anna’s sisters were already here and able to promise work for them.

The Barrett/Dixon family, my paternal grandfather’s family, thanks the Heritage Center for remembering this event.  And we express, as well, our gratitude to James Hack Tuke and the employees, volunteers and donors of the Tuke Fund, for their foresight and generosity of spirit in achieving the “free emigration.”  By 1883,  the family was at the end of its tether and it is difficult to imagine its fate had the door to the United States not been opened for them.  We have discovered rather immediate relatives of our family in the state of Ohio where many of the emigrants settled, and we look forward to further contact with the Heritage Center and with others who left the Mullet for these US shores.  

Thomas Barrett

Connor Barrett Harlander, USA, is a Great, Great, Grandson of Michael Barrett and Anne (Dixon) Barrett, Leam and Binghanstown, also a Great, Great, Great Grandson of Pat and Mary Dixon, Binghamstown who with their families all sailed on the S.S. Austrian from Blacksod Bay 25th May 1883 arriving at Boston 7th June 1883.

Connor Barrett Harlander, USA, is a Great, Great, Grandson of Michael Barrett and Anne (Dixon) Barrett, Leam and Binghanstown, also a Great, Great, Great Grandson of Pat and Mary Dixon, Binghamstown who with their families all sailed on the S.S. Austrian from Blacksod Bay 25th May 1883 arriving at Boston 7th June 1883.

Letters from the Descendants – Barrett Family

by ionaddeirbhile

Dear Ms. Geraghty,

Many thanks to you and the staff at the Heritage Centre. The results of the research you are carrying on are invaluable and a gift to those of us searching for our connection with Erin, our ancestors’ native land. Be reminded that most never returned “home”, never saw their own again except in their hearts and memories, but never forgot.  They instilled this love in generations of their progeny over 40 million strong in America today.

Again, thank you so much for finding me on the internet. I am 82 now and feel a sense of closure with this side of my family.  I was practically brought up by my Mayo grandparents, Michael Dent, Ned Barrett’s grandson of Bunnawillan, and Anne Barrett,  Harry, of Doolough. I spent so much time with them as a child and had the sense to ask questions even to memorizing” The Wren, The Wren” in Irish.  🙂

I am indebted to all at the Heritage Centre.  Thanks for seeing to it that the poor souls who left part of their lives behind will be remembered by generations to come. 


Richard Le Maire
Palm Springs,


Honora Barratt Bunawillan, standing at the right Photo Courtesy of Descendant

Honora Barratt Bunawillan, standing at the right
Photo Courtesy of Descendant